Loaded – Jalapeno Popper Potato Skins!

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Ingredients:

3-4 jalapeños

2 pounds small round baby potatoes, about 2 inches in size.

2 Tablespoons organic canola or vegetable oil, divided

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 pound pancetta or center cut strip bacon, cooked crisp, drained of excess fat, and crumbled

Garnish Toppings

1 cup sour cream

1 bunch chives, chopped fine

1 tomato, small diced

10 black olives, chopped fine

Lime wedges

Method:

1-Place oven rack to top position and preheat your broiler to high.

2-Place the jalapeños onto a foil-lined baking sheet and broil,turning occasionally. Broil until skins are black and blistered on all sides. Or place on your outdoor grill for the same affect. Once skins are blisters and blackened,remove peppers to a brown paper lunch bag, or a plastic gallon- sized food storage bag. Seal.

3-When peppers are cool enough to handle, peel away skin with the sharp part of a paring knife scraping away from you onto a paper towel. Slice open and remove seeds. Discard skin and seeds. ( I wear gloves when handling peppers and seeds- do not touch your face. If you get caption on your skin and it is burning, wash with whole milk or anything high in fat. )

4-Dice peppers fine, and add to a small mixing bowl. Add cream cheese and mix well. Set aside at room temperature.

5-Place an oven rack to center portion of your oven. Adjust temperature to 400′ F degrees.

6-While oven is warming. Wash and dry potatoes. Place into a large food storage bag or bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil and the garlic salt. Toss to coat all sides.

7-Place potatoes on a foil lined, high-sided baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center goes in easily. Remove from the oven and set to cool.Turn oven heat up to 450’F degrees.

8-When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut in half lengthwise. With a teaspoon gently scoop out warm potato flesh, leaving 1/8″ potato inside the skin — ( save potato flesh, and use for mashed potatoes  during another mealtime)

9-Brush the inside of each halved potato with remaining oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper and place facing up on the foiled lined high sided baking sheet again and place back into the hot over for an additional 10 minutes until dry and edges are getting crispy. Remove and cool slightly.

10- Fill each potato skin with 1 teaspoon roasted jalapeño cream cheese mixture, top with pancetta or bacon and grated cheddar cheese.

11-Broil for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

12-Remove from oven, and serve with sides of sour cream, chopped chives, diced tomatoes, black olives and lime wedges

Serve warm and crispy!

*Make variations by adding grilled and finely chopped, Carne Asade steak or ground taco seasoned cooked ground hamburger to the bottom of the potato skin before filing with cream cheese mixture.

Spicy Gingered Chicken Bites, with Honey-Orange Glaze! 

These bite-sized appetizers own it! The flavor parings are a match made in food heaven – garlic, ginger, orange, and honey. Oooo yeah ! Perfect to carry off to a game day tailgate party! 

Ingredients
1/2 c local honey, warmed ever so slight 

3 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger 

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice 

1/4 cup apple cider or apple juice 

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce 

2 Tablespoons sesame oil 

Juice and zest of one orange  

6 garlic cloves, minced 

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 8 pieces per breast 

Cooking spray 

1 teaspoon Kosher salt 

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper 

1 teaspoon cornstarch 

1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice 

2 teaspoons orange zest

2 teaspoons local honey

1 teaspoon black sesame seeds

5 scallions cut diagonally in 1 in chucks for garnish ( optional ) 

Method: 

Combine first 9 ingredients at room temperature with the warm honey in a large zip-top plastic food storage bag; seal and shake well. 

Remove 1/2 the liquid –including 1/2 the garlic and set aside in additional container. Seal and set aside.

Place the chicken pieces inside the first plastic food storage bag containing the honey marinade. Seal and toss to coat. Refrigerate a minimum of 2 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.

When ready to cook. Preheat oven to 425°F ( or outdoor grill would be optimal just make sure the chicken is cut large enough not to fall through the grill grates or use special grill equipment intended for this purpose ) remove chicken from marinade and disguard and reserved liquid. 

Cook Chicken to 160’F internal temperature about  10-12 minutes depending on the size of your pieces. 

While chicken is cooking, strain the reserved marinade through a sieve into a high sided saucepan. Discard any solids. Bring to a boil. Cook 1-3 minutes to slightly reduce. 

Combine cornstarch and orange juice in a small bowl-stir with a fork to remove any lumps. Add cornstarch mixture to pan, stirring with a whisk; cook 1 minute until sauce thickened.

Brush glaze onto chicken during final three minutes of cooing time –on the grill, or in oven -turn to coat well and brown to caramelize. 

Place on serving plate, sprinkle with black sesame seeds. Serve skewered with trendy cocktail sticks and a diagonal cut scallion ( optional ) ! 

Yum!